Ward 1 Rep. Gloria Betcher is running for re-election to her Ames City Council seat. She was originally elected in November 2013 and has served in the position since.
In addition to serving on the City Council, Betcher is a teaching professor in the department of English at Iowa State. She moved to Ames in 1993 to join the university's staff and has remained a resident ever since. Additionally, she serves as a historic preservation consultant.
Betcher's primary initiative on the council is to promote civic engagement throughout the Ames community. Betcher has been collaborating with City Manager Steve Schainker, the Iowa State community and the Community and Regional Planning Department's students and faculty members to investigate ways to improve municipal outreach and civic engagement, especially with underrepresented populations and university students.
"With distrust of government increasing in America, cities like Ames are looking for ways to connect to residents to better address their needs and increase their involvement in decision-making that impacts their daily lives," Betcher said.
She also said as a historian; she is interested in exploring opportunities to uplift the Ames women and residents of color who have shaped the community throughout its history. Betcher gave the example of renaming the Ames Municipal Airport after J. Herman Banning, an Iowa State alumni and the first African-American aviator to obtain a U.S. Department of Commerce pilot's license, or after Neta Snook. Snook was an Ames resident and the aviator who taught Amelia Earhart to fly.
Betcher said she believes the biggest challenge facing the Ames community right now is creating an equitable environment that fosters and enables resident engagement. She believes if the community engagement grows, the City government will have the potential to develop solutions for any challenge that it faces.
"The more engaged residents are in decision-making and the more they learn to trust city government, the more inclusive and vibrant our community will be and the more input Council will receive on how to create more effective, more sustainable systems that support a high quality of life for all residents," Betcher said.
The City and School Board Elections will be held Nov. 2, 2021. Voters can click here to learn more information about polling locations and voter registration.
Early absentee voting is available at the following locations:
Oct. 22: Cardinal Room, Memorial Union and Iowa State University Campus 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oct. 30: Ames Public Library 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 1: Story County Auditor's office during business hours